Hole in One (pricing game)

Hole in One, known as Hole in One or Two since 1987, is a pricing game on the American television game show "The Price Is Right". Debuting on May 9, 1977, it is played for a car and uses grocery items.

Hole in One is the only active pricing game that requires physical skill to win; two others, On the Nose and Super Ball!!, are both retired. Other games, such as Race Game and Bonkers, give the contestant more chances to win if they perform better physically, but they can still be won without the physical skill.

Game play

The game revolves around putting on a miniature golf-style hole which consists of a long straightaway ending in a circular area contained by a short rail. The hole is in the center of this area, and is larger than a standard golf hole. The straightaway has six evenly spaced lines, the last of which is where the straightaway meets the circular area. The lines represent the possible distances from which the contestant will have to putt for the car.

Six grocery items are used to determine from which line the contestant will putt. The contestant is asked to order the items from least to most expensive, with flags representing the items being placed in the given order at each line on the straightaway, starting with the one farthest from the hole. The prices are then revealed in the order the flags were placed. As long as each item is higher-priced than the previous item, the contestant moves up to that line. Otherwise, the contestant does not advance and the remaining flags are removed. If the contestant orders the grocery items perfectly, they receive a $500 bonus ($1,000 in the prime time specials) and putt from the line next to the hole.

The contestant then has two attempts to sink a putt from the line they have earned to win the car. As in miniature golf, a putt counts if it is sunk after bouncing off of the rail. If the contestant fails to sink the ball in the hole on their first attempt, the ball part of the sign, featuring the "One" in the "Hole in One" title, flips to reveal the addendum "or Two", revealing the contestant actually gets two chances to sink the putt. If they miss the second putt, the game ends.

The inspiration putt

One of the game's best-known features is the "inspiration putt," in which the host attempts a putt from the furthest line in an attempt to inspire the contestant. At various times, the putt has also been done by the announcer, models, special guests, or members of the production staff. Bob Barker began the practice of the inspiration putt, and often mentioned that this was his favorite game if he made his inspiration putt and his least favorite game if he didn't.

Drew Carey has continued the tradition of the putt, though he (self-admittedly) is not a golfer and rarely sinks the putt.

History

The game was created by former producer Jay Wolpert. [http://www.golden-road.net/index.php?topic=6912.0 ] Originally, this game was called "Hole in One," and the contestant was given only one attempt to make the putt.

Because of this game's difficulty level, nicer-than-usual cars were originally offered (similar to the current practice used in 3 Strikes), usually worth no less than $6,000 in the game's early days, and no less than $10,000 beginning in 1981. Beginning around 1986, expensive cars were no longer a hallmark of the game, going back to 4-digit prices in some cases.

During the 1986 primetime specials, the current format of two putts was introduced. It was instituted permanently early in the 1986-1987 season. During the 1986 specials, as well as the Million Dollar Spectacular that aired on March 14, 2008, a $1,000 bonus was awarded instead of the usual $500. The game's name was changed to "Hole in One or Two" sometime during 1987 or 1988, but most official sources still use the original name.

There have been two contestants who putted from the closest line but didn't get the ball into the hole. One of these was prior to the "or two" rule being instated; the other was after the "or two" rule was instated (the latter contestant made the putt on their second try). Therefore, only 1 contestant that had won the $500 bonus had lost the car altogether.

On 1994's syndicated "The New Price Is Right", Hole in One used small prizes instead of groceries during the pricing segment. The prices were also revealed immediately after the contestant chose each item, rather than revealing them all at the end.


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